New WTO name

The frequent confusion between the two WTOs, the World Tourism Organisation and the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation, came to an end in December when the General Assembly approved the addition of the letters UN, for United Nations, to the start of the acronym of the tourism body.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  January 15, 2006

The frequent confusion between the two WTOs, the World Tourism Organisation and the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation, came to an end in December when the General Assembly approved the addition of the letters UN, for United Nations, to the start of the acronym of the tourism body. The problem arose when the name World Trade Organisation was adopted and with it the acronym WTO in English. The problem did not arise in other languages where ‘trade’ translated as ‘commerce’ and it became the OMC. “Various suggestions were put forward, including attaching the French or Spanish acronym to the English to make WTO/OMT, or follow the practice used by the United Nations Secretariat which refers to WTO (Trade) and WTO (Tourism),” said Francesco Frangialli, secretary general of the World Tourism Organisation. “But since the transformation of the World Tourism Organisation into a specialised agency of the UN, strengthening our relationship to the United Nations system, it was felt the best solution was to refer to our own organisation as UNWTO.”

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